b'Adult Colorado potato beetles feeding on a potato plant. PHOTO: TRACY SHINNERS-CARNELLEY, PEAK OF THE MARKETTopvigilant about scouting. Effective warning systems and changing climatic conditions in certain regions are contributing to a decrease in the number of acres impacted. ContendersGrowers are encouraged not to let down their guard against late blight, which is capable of wiping out an entire potato field in a matter of days and also negatively affecting the quality and for Potatostorability of tubers, says Khalil Al-Mughrabi, a potato specialist with New Brunswicks Ministry of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries.Pests andLate blight risk is highest in wet weather, especially when nights are cool, days are warm, and humidity stays high. Inoculum can travel long distances, particularly during thunderstorms. Keep an extra careful eye out for infection in Diseases protected areas including low-lying parts of the field and areas like treelines where applying fungicide effectively is more difficult. Researchers are working hard to support producers efforts A cross country look at whatagainst late blight. A national research program is currently potato pests and diseasesunderway aiming to develop new disease management strategies and to assess how effective registered fungicides are against the growers can expect in their fieldsdominant late blight pathogen strains. In addition, spore trapping for the 2022 growing season.programs are in place across the country and data is being shared between provinces to support predictive modeling. BY: MADELEINE BAERGPotato Early DyingAS THE DAYS lengthen and the sun warms, potato producersPotato Early Die complex (PED) is another major concern for across the country are gazing at their empty fields and dreamingmany Canadian producers, causing significant losses from of the crop to come. Alongside imagining the future cropsManitoba through Atlantic Canada. Researchers believe PED is yield potential, however, proactive farmers will be pre-thinkingcaused by a combination of pathogens and factors including the through this years disease and pest potential too. Without aVerticillium fungus and the Pratylenchus penetran nematode. weather-predicting crystal ball, its hard to know exactly whichThe fact that some seed may be physiologically older at seeding disease and pests will bite most deeply into Canadian fields.because of last years challenging growing conditions may make Spud Smart took a look at what the top contenders are thisthe coming crop more prone to PED, especially if plants then growing season. face another hot and dry growing season.The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (previously the Late Blight Canadian Horticultural Council) and various provinces are Late blight has the potential to cause problems in any andcurrently investing significantly into PED research including potentially all regions. Even growers in New Brunswick, wherestudying management options. As verticillium is not well the disease hasnt been detected in the past few years, should becontrolled by fungicide, alternative control trials including 54SPUDSMART.COM Spring 2022'